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FDP Forum / I'd Hit It! - Drums and Percussion / Any love for the "4 piece kit with a small bass drum".

Tony Wright

Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Nov 28th, 2016 06:40 AM   Edit   Profile  

Jazz kit. Street Bop kit. Micro kit. Mini kit.

Regardless of the name...anybody like them or own one?

Typically they have a "flipped floor tom" (often in the 16 or 18 inch diameter size) along with a floor tom in the 13 or 14 inch size. Mounted/small toms bounce from 8 to 12 depending on the kit...and a snare.

I realize that if you are playing large rooms or big stages or even the local "feather, flag, hoof, horn" organizations events, you probably don't feel the need as a band or as a drummer to "down size".

But my previous band had maybe 3 venues where a standard 5 piece kit would not fit. We had one venue where the "stage" (the manager moved a couple of tables and pointed towards the wall outlets when we arrived the first time) was 11 feet wide and 10 feet deep. And we played there a lot...and several similar sized venues where live music was an after thought.

So, I stumbled into some older You Tube of a guy downsizing his kit with Pearl Jungle Kit components. It worked for us until we played a few larger venues and the drummer reconfigured the kit back to a standard 5 piece.

My current group is just the two of us. Acoustic-electric guitar and me on P-Bass. We have a guy who has set in with us a few times on djembe and cajon. He is really a guitarist and is wanting to work up some of our songs on guitar rather than playing hand percussion.

I think one of these "flipped tom" kits will be just the ticket.

So, any love for them among other FDPers?

super mario
Contributing Member


tone to the bone no other way
Nov 28th, 2016 07:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

The closest I came to this size kit was my first "gigging" kit - a Yamaha jazz size kit (built in the 80's) - 20" kick, 14" floor and 12" shell tom....I got a lot of mileage out that kit. Of course in the 90's when I played it most everyone was looking for massive drums and sized kits and I modified it to be more like a larger "standard" kit... Now that I am older and somewhat wiser I believe that kit was the perfect balance in terms of size verses projection. I would take another one in a heartbeat and play it anywhere, with some mikes for bigger venues you get the best of all worlds...compact, punchy and quick set-up/take down. One of my best buds has his electronic trigger kit of his design that uses a 14" shell for the kick - of course with it being electronic triggers it sounds massive.....
(EDIT: the 8" tom originally referenced was supposed to mean an 8 x 12 tom...duh)

(This message was last edited by super mario at 10:33 PM, Nov 28th, 2016)

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Nov 28th, 2016 11:00 AM   Edit   Profile  

I think the new little club kits are pretty cool and have played a few at jams. I like the Sonor Bop and the Taye offering. Unless you custom build or really go big name it's hard to find real quality.

I've kind of split the difference with what I play regularly with a Vintage Rogers kit. 20" kick then 12 rack and 16 floor on the toms. I really have not found a place I can't squeak it in. It takes up a lot less space than the Pearl 7 piece I sometimes use at large venues.

All that being said, I have an old Rogers 18" floor tom shell I plan to wrap to match my existing kit to give a slightly smaller option. I'll have to leave some of the hardware shown below at home for the real tight stages.

One of the local guys has taken a decent mini/kids kit and upgraded it for gig use. Sounds amazing actually with good heads and correct tuning. He stripped the funky original wrap and went natural satin polly over the shells. Looks sweet.

Vintage Rogers

Contributing Member

Howell, NJ USA

I'll do the "beating" around here
Nov 28th, 2016 06:02 PM   Edit   Profile  

FYI: The venue/size is what determines your kit size. (and also your cymbal sizes) The micro/mini kit you were referring to, normally refers to an 18" bass, 14" Fl/tom, and a duo combo of an 8",10" or 12". Small room size/theater settings, where all instruments are "acoustic" (not amplified) will give you the basic idea. Space availability is the other problem. Your playing dynamics are your balance & control.

There are a couple of technical problems to be aware of with the smaller kits. The 18" bass drum will need a "riser" to match your foot pedal. In general, you want to hit the center of any drum; any standard foot pedal will hit high/off center if attached to the 18" bass drum itself. If you shorten the "beater", it will effect the efficiency of the pedal. Also the height of the (standard)tom-tom(s) holder will be effected with the smaller size bass drum. If you normally place/play them low, then no problem.

Unfortunately, if you are a working drummer, "gigging" at different venues; you will find that you will need more then one kit. Tuning & muffling will only get you so far. Cymbals are a different subject. You will need a collection of multiple/varied cymbals, to see what works, where. (Trial & Error)

I have three different kits, with varied sizes; one being the "micro" style kit you described. I use that kit for theater & jazz club settings.

I hope the info helped.

Tony Wright

Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Nov 28th, 2016 08:57 PM   Edit   Profile  

Grizbear, I understand what you said...in fact, I think I mentioned the venue size "IS" often an issue in our case...see paragraphs 4 and 5 in my original post. We play back yard patios, front yard driveway parties for the neighbors. Typically, we play events where the fire code is UNDER 100 people. Right now, our "percussionist" is using a djembe and cajon. But he wants to switch back to guitar, so....I am trying to entice my friend who has been "strongly encouraged" to reduce his performances by his orthopedic surgeon.

I considered the height of the beater. You called the component a "riser" and I think that is exactly the purpose of the Pearl Jungle Kit. Unfortunately, the drums I purchased were intentionally built to be a small kit, not a converted floor tom. The problem with that is the kit was not built with brackets for the standard floor tom legs. Thus I elected to purchase a product called "Convert-A-Tom". A simple wooden frame that has the radius cut out for the size of the "bass" so that it simply rests in the frame.

External link

Tony Wright

Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Nov 28th, 2016 08:57 PM   Edit   Profile  

Edit: Double post. I did not think I was finished, but apparently, a force stronger than I directed that I hit "Submit". Can't argue with that kind of hint.

(This message was last edited by Tony Wright at 11:34 PM, Nov 28th, 2016)

Contributing Member

Howell, NJ USA

I'll do the "beating" around here
Nov 29th, 2016 08:22 PM   Edit   Profile  

Tony:I viewed the link, "good call", that unit is a good, simple, wooden "riser"; it has the basic idea of allowing the "beater" to hit the drum "center", without altering the beater position. Which is exactly what you want. Both Drum Workshop and Gibraltar make an adjustable/tubular variant that starts at about $250.00

The only suggestion I can offer about the convert-a-tom, is remove the "legs" before you strap it down, and then put the legs back in afterwards and "tighten them down" in the leg brackets to avoid "rattle".

Another trick, get a small piece of carpet/rug (shortest knap available) to put under the drum/riser. Then take the foot pedal and put "velcro tape" on the base that touches the rug (hook side of tape). This will help reduce bass drum "creep". The pedal is attached/tightened to the riser "lip", the rug remains stationary, and all energy is directed to the pedal.

Also; think about porting & muffling for overall sound quality, that would involve getting another bottom head for the floor tom to modify. Just switch the head out when needed for the conversion.

NOTE:If you noticed, most of the 18" bass drums are longer; there is some sort of volume/size ratio that is used to calculate bass tone. It was explained to me a while back at a seminar. That's as far as I got!

Tony Wright

Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Nov 30th, 2016 06:41 AM   Edit   Profile  

I had some advice from a local pro drummer that I have played with several times. (Pro meaning his sole source of income is drumming or instructing drum students...he does quite well.)

His advice was the Evans 16 inch clear batter EMAD head, no port. (port later if it needs it) and the Evan smooth white EQ3 resonate head.

As for the "Pearl Jungle Kit" component package for "flipping" a floor tom. I own one of those, and it is on the drum kit I have semi permanently loaned to my former drummer. It is a long story, but he and I have a history so he needed it for income and I was no longer in a band or group or any music making endeavor. That has changed, thus this second mini kit. I did not dislike that Pearl accessory...BUT...

This new-to-me mini kit "bass drum" was purpose build to be a bass drum. NO TOM LEGS OR MOUNTS FOR SAME. There are screw holes for where bass spurs were mounted at one time...apparently swivel legs from the position of screw holes. I opted for the lower cost Convert-A-Tom.

Now it appears I will need to replace the mounted tom bracket on the 16inch bass drum. I am going to try a new bolt and wingnut but the silly mount does not tighten and it is significantly larger than the Tom mount "post". I decided replacing that mount is the second option. I used a snare stand for the "home made flip" I did on the other kit and it worked...but I was always worried about stability. Still am, but not my problem any more.

This "bass" is 16x16 which is the smallest that would I consider. There are some commercially manufactured kits that have 14 bass, but for my mind, 16 is small enough...the same size I had with the other kit.

...that "pro drummer friend"...he is in at least 7 bands. Some he is the sole drummer, others he is one of a small pool. Some he just sits in when their regular guy is not available. I have hired all 7 of his bands at one time or another. My day job has me doing "some of the talent buying" because of my relationships with area bands.

I try hard to hire home town bands first, regional bands (including OKC and Tulsa and Wichita) when I need someone that has a different genre than available locally. (My boss wants "theme performers" on occasion.)

My day job is Tech Services (which involves answering the phone and showing rooms for) the local municipal conference center and meeting room facility. We also do most of the pro audio for City government sponsored events downtown.

That pro audio thing is how I got the job, but it turned out they needed someone to baby sit the office as much as run the board and sling cable...which I still do occasionally...when the young guys are not available.

The unfortunate thing is I do not feel comfortable hiring my own band...kind of incest if you get my point...so I have refused to book us even when we might have been a good choice.

Even if we played for free, it would take money out of someone else's pocket.

Contributing Member

Howell, NJ USA

I'll do the "beating" around here
Nov 30th, 2016 09:52 PM   Edit   Profile  

Tony; you're being gracious about the 16" Bass-drum. I get leery with my 18" B-drum; I'm used to a 22" or 24". (which I interchange frequently and only utilize the 18" when I have to.)

Your "pro" has some good ideas, I've experimented with several different combinations of heads, porting, & muffling. with a lot of "well that didn't work". Again; knowing the venue, and adjusting to it are the key. Small rooms, theaters, large clubs, and "open air" venues all present different problems; add in a sound system and a certain style of music, your problems multiply.

Normally I recommend "studio tuning" methods to remove unwanted overtones. I have discovered, regardless of the venue; if the drum kit sounds good acoustically, let the rest of the band (including the sound man) work from there to balance out the sound. (Stand back and watch the fun there!!)

Another trick: After you are satisfied with your drum kit sound from the drummers seat; get somebody else to play drums and walk about the room/area listening while they "play". You might want to adjust something on the kit, or at least determine the extent of the "dynamics" you want to use. (Note: you will get plenty of "volunteers" to help you, it has been my experience that kids & drunks all want to play drums.)

Tony Wright

Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Dec 1st, 2016 12:24 AM   Edit   Profile  

I understand the volunteer thing...drums are cool. If I could have figured out the hands and feet going different directions, I probably would have switched to drums a long time ago. Since it is a challenge for me to play bass and walk at the same time, I am NOT a candidate to play drums. Counting to 4 is easy. That walk and chew gum and sing and move feet at different tempo and directions as the hands...lack of talent is a legitimate reason to play bass.

I understand the "crowded frequency effect" when bass and drums occupy the same sonic territory. Happened several times with the djembe, I brightened my tone and things improved. No one complained, but I could not differentiate my notes from the drum notes at times, moving an octave on my necks was not an option with the pattern of the song, so, changed my settings...and it worked just fine.

I do not like the tone of my bass paired with the djembe. We overlap too many frequencies. Way too muddy. Thus my suggestion for Shawn to use the cajon more, and he agreed that he liked it better anyway. But since he wants to move back to guitar...well, I am preparing the mini kit hoping we find a drummer.

I know a couple of drummers that I would be comfortable with. They need to be in this for fun, not a career or for the pocket money. This current project has not made enough income to cover gas money. That seriously reduces the pool. As it stands, it is not a big deal either way.

What I really liked was some "alternate percussion kits" with djembe, cajon, and similar hand percussion instruments...they would fit perfectly with our sound. But they would need to be played more like a trap set style drummer versus a traditional hand percussion style for the cajon and djembe and conga and such...

A nice steady 2 and 4 time keeper with the occasional accent or flourish would be plenty adequate for our group. LOW VOLUME a must.

And ultimately, the current percussion guy, Shawn, is a "long time" friend, so the percussion gig is his until he decides he wants to move to guitar or he simply wants to stop playing.

Contributing Member

Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Aug 31st, 2017 05:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

FWIW, I have the Taye GoKit. Very small footprint. Great sound. Excellent construction. Always get compliments on how good they sound.


Too Near Atlanta GA

Amp Tech Emeritus
Apr 13th, 2019 02:59 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have a Sonor AQ2 Bop kit which is a four piece with an 18" bass drum...mine is white marine pearl. Good quality kit that fits well in small spaces. Of course I more invested in cymbals than I do drums or hardware...but, just wanted to plug in a vote for this kit. I'm not a huge fan of smaller bass drums, and I've owned kits with BD's from 16" up to 26" over the more than 60 years I've been drumming...my favorite size is 20 and 22 inch...though this 18 inch Sonor does the job quite well.


FDP Forum / I'd Hit It! - Drums and Percussion / Any love for the "4 piece kit with a small bass drum".

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